If you want to appreciate what Barack Obama is up against in 2012, forget about the front man who is his nominal opponent and look instead at the Republican billionaires buying the ammunition for the battles ahead. A representative example is Harold Simmons, an 80-year-old Texan who dumped some $15 million into the campaign before primary season had ended. Reminiscing about 2008, when he bankrolled an ad blitz to tar the Democrats with the former radical Bill Ayers, Simmons told The Wall Street Journal, “If we had run more ads, we could have killed Obama.” It is not a mistake he intends to make a second time. The $15 million Simmons had spent by late February dwarfs the $2.8 million he allotted to the Ayers takedown and the $3 million he contributed to the Swift Boat Veterans demolition of John Kerry four years before that. Imagine the cash that will flow now that the GOP sideshows are over and the president is firmly in Simmons’s crosshairs.

via Sugar Daddies.

This will be the first presidential election since the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court declared that corporations are people. Corporations, which have had undue influence on politics even without this landmark case, will now have even more. Don’t care for negative ads and character assassination? Might as well cancel your cable and shut off the computer. There will be a relentless onslaught of propaganda and misinformation bombarding the airwaves and the Internets. 

Voter ID laws have been passed in several states, which will serve to disenfranchise the poor, minorities, and the elderly. Redistricting has also served to further undermine the democratic process. Social issues regarding gay rights, abortion, and women’s health are also causing voters to vote against their own economic interests. Add in the potent gun lobby and it’s easy to see that there’s going to be a very ugly battle ahead. 

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